President Obama Announces $2.4-Billion Electric Vehicle Grant Program

March 22, 2009 by Jeff Shepard

President Barack Obama announced a competitive grant program to boost the development of electric vehicles (EVs), including grants to finance domestic production of auto batteries. The new $2.4-billion grant program, which would be part of his recovery program, would ask companies to compete for federal money to increase the manufacturing of batteries and parts used in EVs. The stimulus plan passed earlier this year set aside $2 billion to encourage EV manufacturing. Out of that total, $1.5 billion is available for U.S. battery manufacturing and $500 million for related technology, such as electric motors.

"Even as our economy has been transformed by new forms of technology, our electric grid looks largely the same as it did half a century ago," Obama said. "So we have a choice to make. We can remain one of the world’s leading importers of foreign oil, or we can make the investments that would allow us to become the world’s leading exporter of renewable energy."

The president renewed his commitment to doubling the nation’s supply of renewable energy over the next few years – including spending $11 billion upgrading the nation’s power grid to ease the delivery of renewable energy across the country, and $15 million to help develop green technologies such as solar and wind power, and new coal technologies.

He also pledged to have a million plug-in hybrid vehicles on the road by 2015, and highlighted his offer of up to $7,500 in tax credits for Americans who purchase electric vehicles.